Buchtar Tabuni sentenced to eight months; tight security round the courthouse.

 

 

Bintang Papua
24 September 2012
The former chairman of the KNPB – National Committee for West Papua – was sentenced to eight months in prison, having been charged with inflicting damage on the prison where he was held. The sentence was  less than the demand of the prosecutor who wanted the accused to be sentenced to one year. The eight month sentence will be reduced by the time the accused has already spent behind bars.Aggravating circumstances were that he had previously  been sentenced and that his actions caused anxiety among the people, while the mitigating factor was that he had behaved politely in court.

Following the announcement of the verdict, the defence team said that they had not yet decided whether to launch an appeal against the sentence. ‘We are still thinking about how we will respond,’ said Gustav Kawar.

The defence team said that the sentence was light and the accused should have been released. However, according to Gustav Kawar. the panel of judges had  given him a sentence as the result of external interference.
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Bintang Papua, 25 September 2012

After further consideration, the defence team said that the verdict had not been decided independently and had been seriously influenced by the authorities, Gustav Kawar told  journalists. This influence had come from the security forces, that is to say the army and the police This was the factor that had caused the judges to hesitate before reaching their verdict. There were also doubts because of the fact that the testimony from several of the witnesses was contradictory. Nor had it been proven that the accused had been acting  in consort with others.

According to Gustav Kawar, the Criminal Procedural Code (KUHP) stipulates that  if  any element in the charge has been proven to be invalid, the entire charge must be declared invalid. The accused as well as his defence team said that they would consider what to do in the coming seven days.

Security measures round  the court

On the day the verdict was announced, around 230 security forces from the local and district forces, including personnel  from the police intelligence unit, Brimob  were among those standing guard.

The chief of police said that several  elements of the security forces had taken part in security at the time of the various hearings.  He asserted that  they had discovered sharp weapons among the crowd of people outside the courthouse following the earlier hearings but after measures had been taken, this did not occur during the latter hearings.

[Translated by TAPOL]

 

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